Dying is a social as well as physiological phenomenon. Each society characterizes and, consequently, treats death and dying in its own individual ways—ways that differ markedly. These particular patterns of death and dying engender modal cultural responses, and such institutionalized behavior has familiar, economical, educational, religious, and political implications. The Handbook of Death and Dying takes stock of the vast literature in the field.
Chapter 73: The History of the American Cemetery and Some Reflections on the Meaning of Death
Historically, the cemetery has been treated as a functional necessity, a role eloquently captured in the words of Elias Leavenworth on the occasion of the opening of Oakwood Cemetery in Syracuse, New York, in 1859: “an ample, permanent and attractive resting place for our dead, seems to be the last great necessity of our city” (Sloane 1991:xxii). The establishment of Oakwood was the culmination of years of work ...